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In baseball, striking out the side refers to when a pitcher records three strikeouts resulting in outs in the defensive half-inning in which he pitches. There is no official statistic in regards to this accomplishment, though it is often noted by commentators and fans when it occurs.

There is a disagreement as to the exact definition of striking out the side. Some feel a pitcher should be credited with striking out the side when all three outs in the inning were obtained via the strikeout, regardless of what other hitters the pitcher has faced have done. Others, though, believe a pitcher only has "struck out the side" when he has retired 3 batters in succession without allowing anyone to reach base[1].

In theory, a pitcher can record four strikeouts in an inning, since it is possible for a batter to safely reach first base without an out being recorded if the catcher does not hold the third strike. This occurrence, however, is rare.




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